Boeing suspends production of wide-bodies

March 23, 2020, (c) Leeham News: Boeing today announced it will suspend production of its wide-bodies for 14 days, beginning Wednesday.

Production slowdown begins today.

The move is in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Boeing is the last of the Big Three aircraft manufacturers to do so. Airbus last week suspended production in France and Germany, restarting slowly today. Embraer suspended production last week.

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Airbus expands virus precautions across production lines, company

By Scott Hamilton

Guillaume Faury

March 23, 2022, (c) Leeham News: Airbus is working to make its production lines safe, but will have lower rates than before the coronavirus pandemic caused lockdowns in France and Spain, the CEO said today.

Airbus temporarily shut production lines in these two countries last Monday. Production resume at a low, unspecified rate. He said initially production “efficiency” may be very low.

Guillaume Faury, the CEO, however, pointed to China as perhaps an example to follow with its other lines.

The Tianjin line was shut down for several weeks as the COVID-19 virus spread across China. It recently resumed and is back near the pre-shut down level of 6/mo. Faury said 99% of the employees are back at work.

Chinese airlines are back to 30% of pre-grounding levels.

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Coronavirus upends Airbus, Embraer in addition to Boeing woes

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By Scott Hamilton


March 23, 2020, © Leeham News: The dramatically and continuously worsening impact of coronavirus worldwide is upending Boeing—more than it has been—and Airbus.

Boeing is considering shutting the wide-body production lines, The Seattle Times reported. It also wants US government aid.

Source: CDC.

Airbus shut its assembly lines in France and Spain for four days in response to federal restrictions.

LNA previously wrote about the impact it sees on Boeing and, to a degree, on Airbus.

These analyses are updated to the latest circumstances.

We also add a look at Embraer delivery stream for March-December.

  • Even if Boeing recertifies the 737 MAX by mid-year, deliveries now in doubt.
  • Customers can cancel MAXes without penalty.
  • Airbus faces massive deferrals under the circumstances. Penalties apply.
  • Embraer’s customer concentration is in USA.

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Pontifications: Getting around as airline service tanks

By Scott Hamilton

March 23, 2020, © Leeham News: There were times last week when the number of private airplanes in the air seemed to outnumber the airliners.

Periodic checks on FlightRadar24 of the skies around Seattle showed a dearth of commercial flights. By Friday, the US carriers already sharply pulled down operations. International flights were largely canceled.

Most cutbacks are likely.

With passenger traffic all but dried up—some flights had load factors of 20%-30% and others only one or two passengers—how might people get around while minimizing exposure to the coronavirus?

The private, general aviation airplanes are one choice.

Using corporate jets is another. But this option isn’t inexpensive, even when consolidating passengers.

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Airbus boosts liquidity to €30bn with new credit line; suspends dividend

By Scott Hamilton

March 22, 2020, (c) Leeham News (Seattle Time): Airbus today announced a new €15bn credit facility to boost liquidity during the COVID-19 virus crisis.

In an early morning release March 23, Toulouse time, Airbus said it is suspending its dividend and its 2020 guidance.

“Our first priority is protecting people while supporting efforts globally to curb the spread of the coronavirus.” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury.

“We are also safeguarding our business to protect the future of Airbus and to ensure we can return to efficient operations once the situation recovers. We have withdrawn our 2020 guidance due to the volatility of the situation. At the same time, we are committed to securing the liquidity of the Company at all times through a prudent balance sheet policy.”

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Bjorn’s Corner: Why e in ePlane shall stand for environment, Part 14.

March 20, 2020, ©. Leeham News: In this week’s Corner, we continue our analysis of what it means for a regional airliner to go from Turbofan propulsion to Hybrid Electric propulsion. Last week, we looked at a Serial Hybrid. Now we analyze a Hybrid where the electric power applies in parallel with the gas turbine power.

Figure 1. Embraer’s E175-E2, a very efficient  88 seater jet. Source: Embraer.

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Before handing $60bn to Boeing, consider this

By Scott Hamilton


March 20, 2020, © Leeham News: Before the Trump Administration hands $60bn over to Boeing for its own purposes and to serve as a conduit to aid the supply chain, there are just one or two issues to address.

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Boeing workers delay production over Covid-19 fears

By Bryan Corliss

March 20, 2020, © Leeham News: Sources close to Boeing tell Leeham News & Analysis that Machinists Union members in Puget Sound have shut down production on several occasions this week over fears that the corona virus had made their work stations unsafe.

According to two insiders, workers at sites across Puget Sound are invoking Article 16 of the IAM’s contract with Boeing, which is commonly known as the “Imminent Danger Clause.” It gives workers the ability to shut down work in their area if they have a reasonable concern that they’re working under conditions likely to cause death or serious injury.

Boeing management has been responsive, the insiders said, quickly bringing in environmental health and safety experts to perform assessments and order extensive cleaning in areas where potentially infected people may have worked.

But it’s reasonable to assume that these temporary shutdowns for cleaning will lead to further delays in production, and that they will increase in frequency as the pandemic spreads – particularly after the union sent a reminder to its stewards about the safety language in their contract.

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Can the Airbus A321XLR fly trans-Oceanic routes?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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March 19, 2020, © Leeham News: Over the last weeks, we compared the Airbus A330-900 to the A350-900 when flying the long routes over the Pacific Ocean. Now we pose the question: To what extent is an A321XLR a possible alternative or complement to these long-rangers for Oceanic routes?

The A31XLR has the range to be a credible trans-Atlantic aircraft since its 700nm range hike over the A321LR. But can it be used over the Pacific Ocean as well? We check it out.

  • Direct routing US West Coast to East Asia is too long for the A321XLR.
  • But there are interesting US to Asia routings where the A321XLR is the enabler for the route structure.

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Surrounded by global bad news, Mitsubishi launches new SpaceJet testing

By Scott Hamilton

March 18, 2020, © Leeham News: While stock markets implode the world over and stock of Boeing, Airbus and Embraer take their own dives, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. (MITAC) was a rare piece of good news.

Flight Test Vehicle 10, an M90 Spacejet regional airliner, took off yesterday on its first flight in Japan.

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